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Saturday, November 29, 2008

30 Nov 2008 - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve


My smiley princess was getting ready for a brand new day. We are going to Sungei Buloh for a morning nature walk.
The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (双溪布洛湿地保护区) is a nature reserve located in the Northwest area of Singapore. It is the first wetlands reserve to be gazetted in Singapore in the year 2002, and its global importance as a stop-over point for migratory birds was also recognised by the Wetlands International's inclusion of the reserve into the East Asian Australasian Shorebird Site Network. It has an area of 1.30 square kilometres.
The admission fee is $1 during weekends and children less than 3 years old are free. After we went through the entrance, we came to a Nature Gallery. The gallery displays panels and exhibits on wetlands and a variety of related themes. There is a cave like structure and Jerlene kept running in and out of it.
After spending sometimes in the gallery, we walked to the outdoor and decided to go for the mangrove boardwalk, which is the shortest route in the reserve.
The mangrove boardwalk allows one to experience through the mangrove without getting the feet wet and muddy. We can listen to the calls of the cicadas and watch mudskippers manoeuvre across the mudflats. At high tide, observe crabs and shellfish on tree trunks. At low tide, look out for water snakes and horseshoe crabs in shallow streams The boardwalk of 500 meters has 4 shelters and takes about 30 minutes to walk. When we were there, it was high tide so we saw lots of crabs climbing up the trees.
Jerlene enjoyed the boardwalk very much and she was holding the park map, as if she knows how to read.

After walking for quite a while, we took a rest at one of the shelters along the boardwalk.
According to the website, Commonwealth Secondary School has officially adopted the mangrove boardwalk in 10 November 2001. One of the programme involved students of the school to paint up the ceiling of the shelters with Mural Paintings.
Before we proceed for the rest of the boardwalk, Jerlene decided to do some planning of the route.
Anyway, there is only one route along the boardwalk..... :-) Jerlene seems to be a volunteer of the park and one of the duties is to keep the park clean. So on the way out, Jerlene kept clearing the leaves on the boardwalk by kicking them into the water. She will clap whenever she successfully clear the leave from the boardwalk.
After we completed the boardwalk, we went to the theatrette where there is a 10-minute audio-visual show that gives you an overview of the reserve.
I actually did not expect we will spend more than an hour in the reserve but we did. In fact, we spent close to two hours and it was really fun. I would recommend this place to whoever is interested in nature. For those who are adventurous enough, you can go on the other routes, which are much longer (some may take 4-5 hrs to complete). You can probably see more on those routes, especially those migratory birds during the season. Anyway, below are some photos of fauna and flora of the reserve.

26 Nov 2008 - Melamine found in Infant Formula

Just saw a news with the following subject, "FDA finds traces of melamine in US infant formula". I quickly read the details of this news article and realized melamine has been found in several baby formula milk powder, namely Mead Johnson's Infant Formula Powder and Enfamil LIPIL with Iron, in the US. In another inhouse test by Abbotts labs, traces of melamine was also found in Similac Infant Formula. Although the level of melamine found is not "threatening" to babies, it still poses a concern for most parents.

Such news in the past few months are really disturbing. What has this world become now? Are human beings really heading towards self destruction? Anyway, no one knows what will happen the next day. We should spend everyday as though it is going to be the last day........ Am I too pessimistic? You tell me........ :-(

Friday, November 28, 2008

23 Nov 2008 - Marina Barrage

After the failed attempt few weeks back to visit Marina Barrage, we decided to try again today. We left home very early to have our breakfast at the Prata Shop along Upper Thomson Road. By the time we reached Marina Barrage, it was before 10am. The security guard refused to let cars go into the Marina Barrage carpark so I had to park at the one outside the Barrage. Jerlene fell asleep just when we were about to reach there. As I decided not to bring along the stroller, we found a place to sit down and wait for Jerlene to wake up.
Following is just a brief introduction of Marina Barrage: Built across the mouth of the Marina Channel, the Marina Barrage creates Singapore’s 15th reservoir, and the first in the heart of the city. With a catchment area of 10,000 hectares, or one-sixth the size of Singapore, the Marina catchment is the island’s largest and most urbanised catchment. Marina Barrage serves three main purposes namely, water supply, flood control and lifestyle attraction.

Jerlene finally woke up after close to an hour sleep. Usually her mood won't be too good when she just wakes up but today, she woke up with a big smile. And next moment, she started running about.
At the Marina Barrage, there is an indoor exhibition called Sustainable Singapore Gallery (SSG). It is an information and sensory extravaganza showcasing Singapore’s efforts towards environmental sustainability. Explore six galleries, each sharing a unique aspect of Singapore’s sustainable story. Uncover, through fun interactive and innovative multimedia, how a small country with limited resources meets the needs of a fast developing community in an environmentally-friendly manner.


There are many interesting exhibits in SSG and Jerlene really enjoyed very much.

There is one area whereby the floor is all made of see-through glass. There are models and exhibits underneath the glass and we are all walking on it. Before we came to this area, Jerlene has been running about non-stop but the moment we stepped onto the glass, she immediately stopped running. In fact, she stayed very still and dared not to move.

She must be afraid that the glass will break if she moves too much.....haha.... Her reactions towards the glass flooring is really funny.......

After an hour of fun time in the gallery, we decided to proceed outdoor to have a view of Singapore city skyline. The view is great and that's why we saw many couples taking their wedding photos there.
Jerlene again cannot resist the big open space and she was on her own running everywhere.
At one corner of the barage, there is a place where many kids gathered to play with the splashing water. As Jerlene was not in the proper attire, she did not join the other kids in the shallow pool. Will definitely bring Jerlene back to this place one of these days. It was a great morning spent in the Marina Barrage.

Friday, November 21, 2008

16 Nov 2008 - Changi Boardwalk

I've been thinking of where to go today and in my mind, I had two choices. One is to go to Sungei Buloh Wetland and the other is to go to Changi Boardwalk. I looked out from my windows and saw that it's a bit dark in the northern sky. So I decided that we should go east to Changi Boardwalk.
It's not hard to find the place. I parked along the roadside outside Changi Point Chalet. After we stepped out of the car, Jerlene began to show us her excitement. And she even pose for me to take photo of her.
Changi boardwalk hugs the scenic Changi coastline from Changi Beach Club to Changi Sailing Club. On the way to the boardwalk, you will pass many of the area's heritage trees.The boardwalk is made up of four segments:
Sunset Walk for a splendid view of the sunset over Changi Point, amid a backdrop of huge boulders. As Tracy cannot walk too much, we did not visit this segment.
Kelong Walk: a stretch of the boardwalk with kelong stilts built over water, reminiscent of the 'good old kelong days'.

Cliff Walk: located just below the hilltop chalets, allows a walk through lush greenery. Viewing decks along this stretch at vantage points provide panoramic views.
Sailing Point Walk: near the Changi Sailing Club provides open views of the sea.
There is a small beach and Jerlene enjoyed running about.
While we were enjoying the sea breeze, the sky suddenly turned dark. We quickly packed up and returned to our car.